Wednesday, December 21, 2005

All Presidents Assert Warrantless Surveillance Power

Since the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978, every president has asserted the power to perform warrantless surveillance. The list of presidents includes 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats. As far as elected presidents are concerned, support for warrantless surveillance is bipartisan. Pres. Clinton went so far as to claim the power to perform physical searches, not just surveillance of communications.

Presidents of both parties have carried out warrantless surveillance of communications. You would never know this by listening to today's Democrats' complaints about warrantless surveillance. If the Senate Intelligence Committee does hold hearings on this matter, I suggest that the committee calls former Pres. Carter and former Pres. Clinton, both Democrats, as the first 2 witnesses and asks them what their position while in office was on the power and the authorization to use warrantless surveillance.

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